The Digital Journalist
March 2005

by Beverly Spicer

Last month E-Bits was devoted to talent expressed in unusual ways, and we can't help but tell you about just a few more. In fact, this entire column will be about creative expression in one way or another, whether it is alone at home, on the Internet, in the news, from TV archives, or in a public park that is transformed into a saffron wonderland. First, take a look at a fellow who has won over a million fans already since posting his endearing rendition of what he calls NUMA NUMA DANCE on a site called Here is New Jersey amateur videographer Gary Brolsma, exuberantly and unabashedly performing his own special Webcam version of Romanian pop song "Dragostea Din Tea," from the band "O-Zone." You'll agree when we say we're glad he shared his energetic and entertaining response to the catchy tune, which translates "Love From the Linden Trees," in an endless loop. Click on Gary's photo below and choose your preferred version. Bet you can't watch just once.

Occasionally the news contains some surprises, and we would be willing to bet anything that the following clip was never broadcast. Dawn Scott of Seattle's KIRO Eyewitness News was in Bellingham, Washington, reporting on a "shocking arrest" at a local campus when she was interrupted by a shocking event of her very own—a '70s-style nude streaker running across the background, complete with unsavory noises to enhance his performance art. We thought Ms. Scott's "Oh, my goodness," a rather demure and well-tempered response.

Speaking of the news, don't you wonder sometimes whatever happened to Baghdad Bob, Iraq's charming and entertaining Minister of Information—or was that Minister of Disinformation? Apparently he is alive and well, enjoying frequent updates on a site called "" Well, we love him too. He says in retrospect, " I was sincere in everything I said, even before the fall of Baghdad International Airport. The information was correct, but the interpretations were not." Sounds like a universal phenomenon. Click on his photos below for an update and don't miss "The Treasure of Deathless Quotes."
Baghdad Bob is not the only one we miss, and here are two more loveable souls that are gone but not forgotten. The following 1968 video clip is THE TONIGHT SHOW's Johnny Carson and DRAGNET's Jack Webb in an alliterative exchange that will amuse you as much as it will make you nostalgic for these two masters of entertainment from yesteryear.
Finally, in case you haven't seen them, we would be remiss not to cite several ways to enjoy Christo and Jeanne Claude's THE GATES, an astonishing display of billowing saffron fabric hanging from 12-foot tall gates located 12 feet apart along a 23-mile path in New York's Central Park, standing for a brief but wonderful two weeks last month. Our favorite photo is from a hotel window on Central Park South overlooking the park midway between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, photographed by Marcy Forrest on February 16. Ms. Forrest describes herself as "just a woman with a camera who loves to capture just about everything in my line of sight." She says she is not a professional photographer, but we suggested she reconsider.

Photo by Marcy Forrest

The first selections on our E-Bits tour are photographs by New Yorker Gibbs A. Williams, whose thoughts on the meaning of the Christos' performance art resonate with those in "The Art Spirit," by Robert Henri, who wrote, "Art when really understood is the province of every human being." Click on Williams' photo below and view his many perspectives of THE GATES.

Photo by Gibbs A. Williams

Next is a virtual tour in a photo gallery of THE GATES that appears on a site devoted to the personal pages of faculty, staff and students of NYU. Thanks to all of them for a great saffron trip through the park.

Last but not least is the Web site of THE GATES' co-creators Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who say that all the materials used in the 7,500 structures for the 16-day exhibit, which ended February 28, will be recycled to "make sure relics are not scattered about the place, looking into the past." I recommend viewing photos by official photographer Wolfgang Volz, reading the FAQs and the artists'press release to learn more about this beautiful, temporal and uplifting gift to us all from the Christos.

Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2005 Christo

As we ponder creative expression large and small, old or new, and the fleeting nature of all things, have a good March, and we'll see you next month.

© Beverly Spicer

Beverly Spicer is a writer, photojournalist, and cartoonist, who faithfully chronicled The International Photo Congresses in Rockport, Maine, from 1987 to 1991. Her book, THE KA'BAH: RHYTHMS OF CULTURE, FAITH AND PHYSIOLOGY, was published in 2003 by University Press of America. She lives in Austin.

The links that appear in this column are from the World Wide Web. Credit is given where the creator is known. The Digital Journalist and the author claim no copyright ownership of any video or photographic materials that appear herein.